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    2022: Steel trends in the construction industry

    Steel for construction is increasingly becoming a material of choice for making prefabs as well as columns and beams that support buildings. And rapid urbanisation, along with the accompanying infrastructure boom, are further driving the demand for construction steel. In 2021, global demand for steel from the construction sector was estimated to be a whopping 930 million metric tons!

    Here’s a quick look into what’s behind the world’s growing appetite for construction steel and the trends in the market.

    Need to put sustainability into action

    The burning of fossil fuels releases greenhouse gasses and these trap sunlight, causing our planet’s overall temperature to rise. Using the planet’s finite resources sustainably without exhausting them is key to counteracting climate change. Steel fits into the sustainability narrative quite well; once made, it can be recycled endlessly without much quality loss.

    The steel grades used for construction are, in fact, some of the world’s most recycled materials, besides being the most commonly used metal . Hence, humankind is increasingly counting on the steel industry to contribute to humanity’s overall sustainability drive. With properties like resilience, hardness, and corrosion resistance, structural steel works over a long period of time, from constructing buildings through operations to decommissioning and beyond.

    Rise of made-in-steel buildings

    Stone has been the primary building material for quite some time now. But steel is disrupting this status quo. A plush apartment complex configured in high-grade construction steel first appeared in 2010 in Rajarhat, near Kolkata. The perforated steel skin of this property admits ample natural light and wafts of fresh air, making the habitation environmentally sound and aesthetically elevated.

    Properly insulated steel buildings need less energy for heating and cooling. The alloy is resistant to dampness and soiling, so steel properties have a longer lifespan and are less expensive to maintain. Also, locally available workforces can assemble made-in-steel buildings with relative ease. Construction steel is becoming ubiquitous, and soon we are going to see various steel grades of the same deployed in metros, railways, expressways, airports, ports, and aerospace projects.

    The advent of seeing steel online

    In the pre-internet era, steel plates were sourced in bulk from mills and none but tier-1 builders and wholesalers could afford this luxury. Today, digitisation is exerting a levelling influence on the market. Physical markets are rapidly giving way to e-commerce sites that present MSMEs/steel buyers with the same opportunities as large buyers. The online channels put power in the hands of buyers to research merchandise, compare the best steel prices, and consult experts before going ahead with a deal. For high-quality steel material, it’s also best to go with one of the top steel manufacturers in India, namely JSW, where you can get the best steel online with top quality service.

    The steel buying process, like most other online services, can also involve parallel telephonic chats between steel buyers and steel dealers. In a few cases, the actual transaction might even happen offline and include physical verification of construction steel products. Still, online marketplaces serve as a valuable research tool for these steel buyers.

    Complex purchase criteria

    In the context of online buying - What product factors matter most to steel buyers? A pen picture of the MSME buyers should help us understand this. The construction industry is a major consumer of steel and the buyers in question are typically small contractors working on residential and commercial properties as well as public works (e.g. bridges).

    Since construction steel is an important component of any structural shape, its quality is a key consideration. Buyers look for important quality criteria like easy weldability, bendability, corrosion resistance, seismic resistance, and fatigue resistance. Carrying too much inventory is a risk that MSMEs can ill afford. Rather, they would prefer small orders delivered over a certain timeframe.

    Customers naturally expect steel dealers and sellers to smoothen their process of discovering, buying, and using steel products. Customer support and aftersales are going to be very crucial for businesses wanting to retain profitable customers. Looking through endless product catalogues can be off-putting for online MSMEs. They want to be able to input a specific product quantity and checkout without a fuss, and quick order forms are there to help them do just that . Online customers are also keen on quantity discounts and financing options, including flexible repayment terms.

    At JSW One MSME, our experts help businesses get the most value each time they buy steel online. Up-and-coming enterprises of all sizes are increasingly leveraging our rich expertise and robust online network to achieve business excellence at scale. We are at your service to discuss how we can assist your company meet your raw material requirements. Access the latest info on the steel industry at JSW One MSME and contact us for any further information.

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